Review: Jack and the Beanstalk at the Wolverhampton Grand

Director: David Janson

Writer: Alan McHugh with additional material by David Tristram

Choreographer: Julie Paton

Snow covers the ground outside and so even before stepping into the Auditorium, you get that festive feeling. Jack and the Beanstalk is this year’s panto at the grand and it sure is a giant one.

Qdos are known for their large-scale spectacular sets, props and special effects and this version of Jack and the Beanstalk is no exception. The Giant itself is so big it’s taller than the proscenium which is sure to make even the bravest of children quiver with fear.

Ian Adams returns to the Grand for the second time as the dame, this time playing Dame Trot. He brings his years of experience to the stage to portray a warm and charming Dame Trot who is exceptionally good at tap dancing. Wolverhampton favourite Adam C Booth also brings a witty and energetic Simple Simon while Graham Cole plays well to his role of being Fleshcreep the Giant’s Henchman. His bellowing voice is fierce and menacing.

Adams, Booth, Lisa Riley who plays Mother Nature and Doreen Tipton who plays herself provide a hysterically funny, version of the twelve days of Christmas. While it was clear not everything went as rehearsed, it added to the fun and is the best part of the show which is rewarded with thunderous applause.

Gareth Gates plays leading man Jack. His talented vocal skills ensure the musical numbers are performed well and with chemistry towards Sarah Vaughan who plays Jill. However, outside of song, the chemistry could develop more in order to provide a convincing fairytale happy couple who are destined to love.

With the sparkling sets, a fairytale storyline and plenty of panto callbacks, this is a magnificent example of a traditional pantomime. The script is funny and some innocent adult innuendos and double entendre are slipped in to ensure adults can enjoy it too. With a talented cast and superb company numbers with choreography by Julie Paton, there is very little you can fault with this festive panto.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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